Japan’s fertility rate drops for 7th straight year

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Tokyo, June 3 (IANS) Japan’s fertility fell to a record low of 1.26 in 2022, declining for the seventh consecutive year, government data showed.

According to data released by the Health Ministry on Friday, the average number of children born per woman during her lifetime was 1.26 last year, down 0.05 points from the final figure for 2021 and on par with a record low marked in 2005.

By prefecture, Tokyo had the lowest fertility rate at 1.04, followed by Miyagi at 1.09 and Hokkaido at 1.12, while Okinawa reported the highest fertility rate at 1.70, followed by 1.63 in Miyazaki and 1.6 in Tottori, Xinhua news agency reported.

The number of babies born in 2022 was also a record low at 770,747, down 40,875 from the year before, marking the first time the number dipped below 800,000.

The latest statistics come a day after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida released a draft plan to boost “unparalleled” child-rearing support in a bid to reverse the country’s falling birthrate, which includes a plan to start offering child allowance to all households with children, regardless of income, from fiscal 2024.



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